Degenerative Disc Disease

What does it mean if you are told you have degenerative disc disease?

 

The discs that separate the spinal vertebrae age just as much as the vertebrae themselves.

With age the discs weaken.

 

Small tears in the outer layer of the disc can occur. Although these heal the disc this can occur many times during our life and gradually the disc becomes weaker.

 

spinal segmentThe disc acts as a shock absorber. As it weakens it‘s abilities as a shock absorber lessen.

 

The disc loses some of its water content and becomes flatter.

 

When this occurs the vertebrae above and below it will get closer to each other.

 

The unnatural alignment of the vertebra can in time lead to changes on the joints that have been put in this unnatural position.

 

These changes can be the formation of bony spurs. These spurs can grow into the canal that houses the spinal cord and nerves.

 

If this condition occurs it is called spinal stenosis.

 

These degenerative changes may or may not be painful.

 

The changes could also cause tingling and numbness in the limbs.

 

Certain movements such as bending and twisting can aggravate the problem. Some of the compressive pressure on the spine is taken away by lying down.

 

Advice on posture to limit pressure in the damaged area and releasing tight muscle that can also add to the compressive effect are both conservative forms of treatment that can bring some help if a surgical intervention is not appropriate or possible.

 

Osteopathy can provide conservative treatment if you suffer from pain caused by these problems.

 

Unfortunately the changes cannot be reversed but advice and conservative treatment may make it easier to live with your symptoms.

 

For more information and to book an appointment to discuss Degenerative Disc Disease, contact Princes Avenue Osteopathic Clinic Chatham today